Selected NYC Events (11/04) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Nov.”

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W46th St./ 8PM, $47+
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“Petite powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth (On the Twentieth Century) returns to the Great White Way with a concert to celebrate the release of her latest album, The Art of Elegance. Like the new CD, the song list should be dominated by American standards by Rodgers & Hart, the Gershwins and others.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
CHARLIE HADEN’S LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY CARLA BLEY

Ann Hampton Callaway 

PAT MARTINO ORGAN TRIO PLUS HORNS

THE BRAZILIAN TRIO

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
PoetryFest

Bonus: New York Comedy Festival

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CHARLIE HADEN’S LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY CARLA BLEY (through Sunday)
Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $
“This revolutionary big band has soldiered on, to one degree or another, since the death of its founder, the great bassist Charlie Haden, in 2014. Solely led now by his longtime collaborator Carla Bley, the band has a fine new album, “Time/Life,” named after a tender dirge she wrote in his memory. And it’s no coincidence that the band, stocked with aces like the saxophonists Loren Stillman and Tony Malaby, sets up shop in the run-up to Election Day.” (Chinen-NYT)

PAT MARTINO ORGAN TRIO PLUS HORNS
Zankel Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, at W57th St./ 9PM, $
“Mr. Martino is a veteran guitarist who first came to prominence in the ranks of soul-jazz organ groups, before making his mark in fusion and acoustic postbop. The organist in his organ trio is Pat Bianchi, and the drummer is Carmen Intorre Jr. They’ll be joined — for this special concert, part of Carnegie Hall’s Shape of Jazz series — by a pair of guests, the saxophonist Adam Niewood and the trumpeter Alex Norris.” (Chinen-NYT)

THE BRAZILIAN TRIO (also Saturday)
Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Avenue, at 38th St./ 8PM, +10PM, $
“The pianist Helio Alves, the bassist Nilson Matta and the drummer Duduka Da Fonseca make up this plainly titled collective, which pairs the flexibility of jazz with the rhythmic brio of samba — notably on its 2012 album, “Constelação,” which seems likely to provide some material here.” (Chinen-NYT)

Ann Hampton Callaway (thru Nov.05)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Her acclaimed 2014 album, “From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project,” paid tribute to a major influence, but the veteran vocalist is resolutely her own woman. Getting a jump start on the holidays, Callaway has just released “The Hope of Christmas,” which includes examples of her original songwriting, another personal passion.” (NewYorker)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

PoetryFest
Irish Arts Center, 553 w51st St. / 8PM, $35
“The Irish Arts center presents its eighth annual fest celebrating top poets from Ireland and the U.S. The event features readings, storytelling, book signings and conversations with esteemed wordsmiths, including John McAuliffe, Jericho Brown, Colette Bryce, Tom French and many more. Don’t miss the opening night on Fri 4, which features appearances from novelist Zadie Smith, the Pogues bassist Cait O’Riordain and actor Peter Halpin.” (TONY)

And here’s a bonus for you Comedy Fans:
New York Comedy Festival (Nov 01-06)
various comedy clubs and venues in New York, various prices
“Every autumn, the changing of the leaves also brings the best fall festivals in NYC. The New York Comedy Festival, produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with Comedy Network, is one of them (not to mention one of the best NYC events in November). Whether you want to see the stars from cutting-edge television programs, touring powerhouses or even hometown heroes who happen to be some of the 50 funniest New Yorkers, there’s a show for you—just another something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

This year’s festival features comedians Bridget Everett, Tracy Morgan, Trevor Noah and more. Use the TONY magazine guide as your go-to for everything you need to know about the hilarious spectacle. And for info on the best shows at this year’s Festival you can’t beat TONY magazine’s listing.”

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar.31, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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